Graduate students can fund their education in various ways and often utilize multiple resources. For more detailed information, you are encouraged to visit the following:
- Graduate Admissions: Describes types of funding and assistance, including department-based support.
- Office of Student Financial Assistance: Offers loans for admitted students.
- Office of Graduate Student Assitantships and Fellowships: Provides information on funding opportunities at the master's and PhD levels.
- GW Career Center: Provides information about Federal Work-Study, part-time jobs, internships and cooperative education.
Brief descriptions of the general types of funding available are described below.
In an effort to make Columbian College graduate programs more affordable and attractive, Dean’s Scholarships are now being offered to qualified students. Applicants to the more than 40 Columbian College degree programs will be eligible for this aid, including virtually all programs leading to the following degrees: Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), Master of Forensic Science (MFS), and Master of Fine Arts (MFA).
The deadline to be considered for this funding opportunity is February 1. For more information about these scholarships, please contact your program director.
Fellowships and Assistantships
Most merit-based assistance (graduate teaching assistantships, research assistantships and fellowships) is awarded through the schools or programs. Applicants who would like to be considered for assistantships and fellowships should consult the appropriate program’s website for further information. Additional information may also be available through the Office of Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowships. If you are applying for a fellowship/assistantship, answer “yes” to this question on the online application for graduate admission and, if required by your school or program, submit a separate fellowship/assistantship application and other materials that may be required.
Please note that the application for many fellowships and assistantships is January 15 for the fall semester and September 1 for the spring semester. All admission materials are due by this deadline, even if this is earlier than the stated deadline for your program of interest. Applications received after the deadline will be considered for these awards only if funds remain available.
The Office of Student Financial Assistance (OFSA) oversees the processing of all loans for students who have been admitted to a GW graduate degree or approved graduate certificate program. Federal loan programs require U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status and at least half-time attendance.
Credit-based consumer loans are available to supplement other sources of aid, and OSFA can provide school certification for any alternative program you choose. You should compare rates, fees and repayment options when choosing among the programs available.
Instructions for applying for these different types of loans are provided online. To have a loan processed before classes begin, all application materials must be on file in the Office of Student Financial Assistance by:
- Fall Semester: May 1
- Spring Semester: October 1
- Summer Semester: March 1
Many graduate students obtain employment to help fund their studies, often using the following resources:
- GW Career Center: Information on full-time, part-time, internship, cooperative education, temporary and summer positions is available
- GW Jobs: Maintained by the Division of Human Resource Services, this site provides information about full-time and regular part-time positions. After a three-month waiting period, new GW employees, as well as the spouses and children of full-time employees, may receive educational benefits. (Note: Graduate students employed full- or part-time on a research grant may use their tuition benefits immediately if they begin their employment before the first day of classes.)
- Federal Work-Study Program: Available to U.S. citizens, provides jobs for graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses.
International students with F-1 or J-1 visa status may be able to supplement their classroom experiences and personal funds through employment, co-operative education or internships, but proper employment authorization must be obtained BEFORE beginning work. For more information, contact the International Services Office.